Internet Drama

Violentacrez Admits He Did It All for ‘Meaningless Internet Points’ on Anderson Cooper 360

"The biggest thrill I got was those meaningless internet points."
screen shot 2012 10 18 at 8 42 15 am Violentacrez Admits He Did It All for Meaningless Internet Points on <i>Anderson Cooper 360</i>

(Photo: CNN)

Michael Brutsch, the 49-year-old Texas resident whom Gawker outed last week as the man behind the racist and misogynistic Reddit troll account Violentacrez, is slated to appear tonight on Anderson Cooper 360.

In sound bites published to CNN’s Press Room blog, Mr. Brutsch speaks with CNN’s Drew Griffin about his experiences moderating the controversial subreddit Jailbait, where users posted sexualized photos of minors before it was shut down by Reddit last year.

Mr. Brutsch even gives an apology for his actions … well, almost:

GRIFFIN: Anderson outed you without saying your name a year ago, right? You could have stopped then. Is the only reason you’re stopping because we now know who you are?

BRUTSCH: Yes. I mean that is, you know, Violentacrez is what I did in my spare time to unwind from my 10-hour-a-day job. That’s how I relaxed in the evening. I no longer need to relax in the evening, because I no longer have a job. That and the fact that the curtain’s been pulled back and everyone can see the puppeteer … That and the fact that I have, as with the rape and pregnant reddits, I have come around over the last few months to understand that some of these things can be harmful to other people.

DREW GRIFFIN:  Are you apologizing for what you did or trying to make an excuse for what you did?

MICHAEL BRUTSCH: Well, I am to some degree apologizing for what I did. Again, I was playing to an audience of college kids. Two years ago, when all of this was at its height, the audience was appreciative and supportive of this sort of gallows humor that I put out there.

GRIFFIN: Did you get a thrill out of that?

BRUTSCH: Well, honestly, the biggest thrill I got was those meaningless internet points.

Reddit users collect “karma” by publishing posts or comments to the site, which other users can then vote up or down. “He really did care about the karma,” the Daily Dot’s Kevin Morris tweeted at Betabeat. “Used to PM me, complaining that our leaderboards weren’t accurate.”

Mr. Brutsch announced earlier this week in a post on Reddit that he had an interview with CNN. When other users chimed in asking him to provide details about the interview, he responded that they did not pay him to appear. “They did cover valet parking, so that was $40,” he said.

When another user asked how the interview went, he replied, “I don’t think it will help anything.”

Mr. Brutsch, who was fired from his job following Gawker’s exposé, is now soliciting programming work in the porn industry.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com